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Taijuan Walker falters again as Mets drop series to Braves

As each inning of the Mets’ 6-3 loss to the Braves ticked away on Thursday, the team drew ever closer to Friday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline. Twenty-eight hours to go, then 27, and so on and so forth for a team growing increasingly anxious to find improvements.

Throughout the defeat, the Mets struggled in two areas that they could conceivably upgrade before Friday afternoon: their rotation and their lineup. Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker continued his post-All-Star break struggles in allowing five runs over five innings, while the offense — outside of Pete Alonso, who bashed a 453-foot homer to the upper deck at Citi Field — never seriously threatened to take the lead.

By the time the Mets reconvene at Citi Field on Friday, the Deadline will have come and gone. The team remains linked to many of the biggest names reportedly available, including Cubs hitters Kris Bryant and Javier Báez, as well as nearly every pitcher on the market.